TITLE

Public Management at the Ballot Box: Performance Information and Electoral Support for Incumbent English Local Governments

AUTHOR(S)
James, Oliver; John, Peter
PUB. DATE
October 2007
SOURCE
Journal of Public Administration Research & Theory;Oct2007, Vol. 17 Issue 4, p567
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Publishing performance information about local public services, an increasing trend in many Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries, matters politically because it has an effect on incumbent local governments' electoral support. Voters are able to use performance information to punish or reward incumbents in the elections that follow their publication, which may fill a gap in the chain of accountability between voters and governments. We model the introduction of published Comprehensive Performance Assessments of Iocal authorities in England, which make summary information about performance available to voters, as a "shock" to the relationship between voters and incumbents. Controlling for an unpublicized measure of performance change over time, change in the local tax level, change in local economic conditions, and whether the local incumbent is the party of the incumbent government at the national level, we find negativity bias. Incumbents in local authorities in the "poor" performance category experience a substantial reduction in aggregate vote share at the election following publication, but there is no similarly sized reward for those in the highest performance category.
ACCESSION #
26962724

 

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